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2 shot in apparent robbery in front of Westside marijuana dispensary


Two people were seriously wounded this evening in a shooting outside a West Los Angeles marijuana dispensary.

The shooting occurred about 4:45 p.m. near the corner of Pico and Sawtelle boulevards.

Los Angeles Police Officer Cleon Joseph said the shooting may have been an attempted robbery, though details remained unclear. Joseph says the two victims were taken to hospitals in critical and serious condition. 

Los Angeles police officials have said they've noticed an uptick in crime around pot dispensaries.

--Staff and Wire Report

Comments () | Archives (19)

Did you include "Stoner Playground" in that map on purpose?

It was just a matter of time. I've complained to my city councilman about this dispensary. It is located 1 block from a day care center and 2 blocks away from a middle school. My neighbor's daughter and her friends all have cards for medicinal pot and go to this location ... none of these teens have real health problems.

That is scary. I've driven by there so often. Who would of thought that would ever happen there.

The uptick in crime around "pot" dispensaries (does slang have a place in news?) is due to its illegality and artificial scarcity. If you re-legalize cannabis, it would destroy the black market and crime ends.

so why not?

Well duh!!! Wherever dope is being bought, sold, and abused you'll see an "uptick" in crime. I would hate to live anywhere near a "pot dispensary". The city's hand in allowing this trade to explode to every street corner will surely lead to huge lawsuits in the future.

Why isn't the city closing all of these places down? Most of them cater to the illegal drugs trade, not to anyone looking for medical help. Some of these places have opened near me and I can see they attract kids looking to get high. Even worse they attract a sleazy criminal element that hangs around them. And now robberies and people getting shot....

ATTN: Los Angeles press

For Immediate Release: 9/19/09

Official Statement from Herbal Cure Collective regarding the 2-person shooting in West Los Angeles near facility located at 11318 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, 90064:

“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families of this thoughtless crime, we hope justice prevails and the persons responsible are caught. It is shocking that a violent crime such as this can happen in our community. It has been reported that our collective was involved and we want to clarify that this incident did not happen inside or outside of our facility. Herbal Cure is a legally operating and licensed pre-Los Angeles moratorium collective that has been serving our local community for over two and a half years. We have been working diligently with our City Council members to help shape constructive policies and regulation in the city of Los Angeles. We are assisting authorities in every way we can and pray for a full and speedy recovery to those harmed.”

John Q. Citizen, I second your thoughts. For so many years we have know Marijuana, Canabis, Pot, to cause all kinds of problems. We don't need pot to make life better. Life is good as it is, without drugs or alcohol. Escaping reality will not make reality go away. Any casual user who can quit for one year will see, reality is a much better place to be.

There are now some 600 medical marijuana shops and they've opened under temporary hardship extensions over the last 1-2 years while the council was figuring out how to deal with them.

The law as written by then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo was so poor it allowed all these loopholes BUT ironically, the new City Attorney Trutanich ran as promising to be MORE lenient toward allowing these shops to open and continue, he claimed that both Delgadillo and candidate Jack Weiss were TOO TOUGH on marijuana dispensaries. They were more inclined to consider more of them illegal under California law unless they followed stricter rules about being true cooperatives of patients, not for profit.

Trutanich promised that if elected, he'd make it easier for these temporary hardship extension shops to stay open, so the medical marijuana patient and seller community rallied behind him, got out the vote, and is NOW waiting for him and his buddy- Councilmember Zine who sits on the relevant committee, to keep their word. However, Trutanich and Zine were elected by a very rightwing core support group, the rightwing talk radio crowd, so promising this to the generally progressive-minded marijuana patients and sellers has them in a pickle: these people are realizing that Trutanich flat-out lied, never intending to keep his promise, and are angry. Everyone is aware that Laura Chick called him a liar and demagogue who never intended to keep his false promises, and others have called him out in similar terms over other issues, so he's afraid of pushing the issue.

Putting more pressure on him is that fact that in the meantime, the Obama administration said it would no longer send the feds/ DEA to bust the shops IF local authorities deemed them legal under California law; previously, federal law trumped state law. When a candidate, Trutanich and Zine promised to fight to uphold the state law

Medical marijuana shop owners and patients are filing a class action lawsuit over this, so the politicking of these rightwing clowns has left us nowhere, except with an expensive lawsuit where the plaintiffs have a strong case that the city allowed them to open shops at considerable expense and Trutanich and Zine made promises to them, that they are now trying to renege on.

Alex, "John Q.", cannabis has been playing a role in the events of human history for a much longer period of time than the existence of the laws which prohibit it.

It didn't become a problem until it was demonized and made illegal. I dare anyone to point a single example of the harms of cannabis which aren't directly related to the fact you can't freely purchase it.

"A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded"

1. If a shooting happens in front of a liquor store will alcohol be blamed for "upticks" in crime?
2. I use collectives to get medicine legally and I don't share.
3. All of the collectives I have been to require you to be at least 18 and many are 21 and over, so if your friends daughters are minors then how did they get the prescriptions and how are they able to get into these dispensaries, also this goes for the comment about "kids looking to get high". If you are over 18 you are considered an adult.
4. I have a MBA and have a solid career, I don't use other drugs nor do I have a desire to ever do so, these dispensaries do NOT sell other illegal drugs and if they did, they most likely will get shut down quickly, why risk that?
5. I have been smoking marijuana for over 20 years and have quit smoking for extended periods of time on numerous occasions and find that reality isn't better.
6. How much tax revenue and economic growth does it generate for the communities? I know we are in a budget crunch and if 1 shop pulls in say 10k a day that's about 1k in sales taxes per day multiply that by the 600-700 shops and that would generate about 600-700k in tax revenue per day for L.A. county alone.

Medical Patient ...

1. Actually yes, liquor stores ARE blamed for upticks in crime.
2. Good for you being a "good" medical marijuana user, but that doesn't mean medical marijuana dispensaries are "good" for our neighborhood. Between my house in West LA and my work at UCLA there are at least 7 dispensaries. There are 4 coffeehouses. Do the citizens of LA seriously need pot more than coffee? Something is wrong with this picture.
3. Apparently you have never heard of fake IDs
4. I don't think anyone here is implying dispensaries sell other drugs, but honestly the way it SHOULD work is that people who truly need marijuana for medical reasons can go to a regular pharmacy for it. The dispensaries that have opened aren't fooling anyone that they aren't fronts for people who just want to get high. If this weren't true, why do they advertise in college newspapers and next to the live music ads in the LA Weekly? If they were seriously going after people with terminal illnesses, they would advertise in a totally different way.
5. I'm sorry your real life isn't better. Maybe it's your attitude?
6. This city sells out enough as it is. I hope they do not cross this line for a few tax dollars.

Just legalize it.

All in all, whether its "kids" or an MBA professional, it is all up to each individual, ones actions on choosing how to go about the situation at hand, legal or not, if a minor somehow gets their hands on a fake Medical ID card, then doesnt the problem lie within themselves, home and/or parenting styles they are raised in? If we are to benefit from these dispenseries, might as well do it right, it may possibly eliminate marijuana from the [black] market, reducing drug trafficking, who knows, sales tax revenues may be able to provide for more secure facilities of such dispensaries. Yes, there may be an excessive amount of dispenseries throughout, but if theres just one, they can be easily targeted by criminals. Laws, rules and regulations dont mean anything unless there is people there to implement and execute them. So from the councilmembers to the police officers, to citizens, they must all ask themselves, how will I choose to deal with this?

@ Andrea T...

So because there's more dispensaries than coffee shops on your route to work, that means that there's too many? Your opinion is very clear on cannabis, and it's very tired, skewed, and reeks of prohibitionist scare-mongering.

Just so we understand each other, coffee is legal and you can buy it at a grocery store -- cannabis is not, and that's why dispensaries/co-ops are the best way to get it aside from growing it yourself. I don't mind that there are more cannabis shops, but that's because I use it daily and fully understand that the benefits far outweigh the 'risks' associated with dispensaries.

And because of how biased and bigoted many people are in this debate, cannabis use for medicinal purposes is looked down upon if you're using it for depression, anxiety or insomnia. Since I don't have AIDS or MS, to some people I'm not a 'legitimate' medical user because I'm not in a slow process of deterioration.

I've tried 'legal' cures, SSRI's and anti-anxiety meds - WHAT A DISTRACTION. That's what you're leaving people with, some paltry option that is supposed to 'help' you by keeping serotonin (and/or norepinephrine, dopamine...etc...) from completing the re-uptake cycle and staying in your brains synapses longer. That's supposed to fix mood disorders? SEROTONIN? It's not that simple, and that's why it doesn't work unless you're a fan of placebo's.

CANNABIS is the best medicine I've ever had the pleasure to use. If you mind crude-combustibles, then vaporize it, or eat it.

Cannabis does cure, or else it wouldn't be so popular. And NO it DOESNT make you forget reality, it helps regulate your body and ACTUALLY decreases the 'fear' response in your brain, which helps people enjoy simple things, and really enjoy life. These patients aren't just 'getting high' -- IM SO SICK OF HEARING THIS!

Between my girlfriend and I, we smoke about an 1/8th ounce every day. What would the equivalent be in cigarettes, maybe 3-4 each a day? I don't even need to smoke much, and I grow it all myself in my bedroom. And hell, I CANT GET HIGH from my medicine. I feel RELIEF from my medicine in small doses, and that's all I need. The fact is, when you smoke a lot, you don't really get too 'high', because of the building tolerance. That doesn't mean you need to smoke more for therapy though, you just won't get your bell rung -- and that's a good thing for me. I like to be productive, because I have plans and goals. I hope to move to LA soon actually, and I plan to spread the word about cannabinoid modulation therapies and encourage people to try them as an alternative to their own failed health regime.

People like Andrea T... I see your arguments, and I understand them -- it's just impractical, and not very logical considering the REAL world we live in were drugs will ALWAYS have a place. I hope all drugs will always have a place, and I do use other drugs, psychadelics and the like. Should everyone use them? NO. I have proven time and time again that I can handle many drugs and not turn into some "baby-raping, dope-peddling family killer". So some people in society are irresponsible, yea, I know that, I can see it very clearly in your attitude.

I've come to cope with drugs, and I hope for universal legalization.
That's my 2 cents.

jon stotz ...

You, as a daily pot user are at least as biased/bigoted as anyone in this debate. Personally, I think you would be much better off facing your fears and making yourself mentally stronger by practicing self-discipline rather than leaning on drugs. I don't think it's impractical at all. Impractical is allowing yourself to get weaker and becoming unnecessarily reliant on external things ... be they drugs, alcohol, material goods, etc. If you want to be truly free of fear and depression, you should try giving up the drugs and finding out what's really going on with yourself. Good luck!

I'm glad I live across the US where this isn't legal. Potheads are potheads and here they don't mingle on the sidewalks trying to score a doobie while I'm trying to have my starbucks. It disturbs me to even think about my doctor possibly writing a "prescription" for weed to weed wackers... and legalizing it would only take the fun away for all the people who live and dwell in the dark side of life. These shops seem to be catering to lazy people... entreprenuers selling marijuana - my I've heard of everything.

OK, you got me I am really an office worker for Zine

You all think these dispensaries are bad and should be prohibited so shouldn't that also be applied to liquior stores??? Drunk Driving and many cases dealing with alcohol is the worlds most leading killer why not protest about that???C'mon for goodness sake it was in west L.A there are many areas in west LA that has been robbed but no news on that because there are no "pot dealers" there no scapegoats! You all are idiots!!! How many people OD on pot?? What a waste of space and air you guys are!!!


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